A Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss
A Novel

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Synopsis


THE HISTORICAL THRILLER OF THE YEAR

Benjamin Weaver is an outsider in eighteenth-century London: a Jew among Christians; a ruffian among aristocrats; a retired pugilist who, hired by London's gentry, travels through the criminal underworld in pursuit of debtors and thieves.

In A Conspiracy of Paper, Weaver investigates a crime of the most personal sort: the mysterious death of his estranged father, a notorious stockjobber. To find the answers, Weaver must contend with a desperate prostitute who knows too much about his past, relatives who remind him of his alienation from the Jewish faith, and a cabal of powerful men in the world of British finance who have hidden their business dealings behind an intricate web of deception and violence. Relying on brains and brawn, Weaver uncovers the beginnings of a strange new economic order based on stock speculation--a way of life that poses great risk for investors but real danger for Weaver and his family.

In the tradition of The Alienist and written with scholarly attention to period detail, A Conspiracy of Paper is one of the wittiest and most suspenseful historical novels in recent memory, as well as a perceptive and beguiling depiction of the origin of today's financial markets. In Benjamin Weaver, author David Liss has created an irresistibly appealing protagonist, one who parlays his knowledge of the emerging stock market into a new kind of detective work.
 

About David Liss

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David Liss is the author of The Devil's Company, The Whiskey Rebels, The Ethical Assassin, A Spectacle of Corruption, The Coffee Trader, and A Conspiracy of Paper, winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. He lives in San Antonio with his wife and children.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published March 28, 2000 by Random House. 448 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Conspiracy of Paper

Kirkus Reviews

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Liss’s clever plot expands to embrace the underworld ruled by legendary criminal impresario Jonathan Wild and the machinations of “stock-jobbing” as they relate to the (since infamous) South Sea investment company (suspected of masterminding a scheme whereby “money in England is being replaced wi...

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Publishers Weekly

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It's good news when your first novel is called ""engaging"" by the New York Times and ""tremendously elegant...

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Publishers Weekly

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He also becomes the pawn of some powerful financial giants lurking in the shadows (much like the corporate villains in contemporary thrillers), comes to suspect his glamorous cousin Miriam of actions unbecoming a lady and employs the wiles of his philosophical Scottish friend Elias to decode the ...

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Book Reporter

A CONSPIRACY OF PAPER is a thrilling piece of historical fiction in the newly minted tradition of THE ALIENIST: half-truth, half-fiction, business secrets and family secrets threaten to destroy both the financial and emotional worlds that Weaver straddles.

Jan 30 2001 | Read Full Review of A Conspiracy of Paper: A Novel

AV Club

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Weaver's second patron, a high-spirited and financially generous aristocrat, offers the more ordinary and appealing assignment to track down a thieving prostitute and retrieve his possessions, especially an incriminating bundle of personal letters.

Mar 29 2002 | Read Full Review of A Conspiracy of Paper: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

According to its book jacket, David Liss' first novel A Conspiracy of Paper is ''in the tradition of The Alienist'' — that is, a period piece housing a murder mystery.

Mar 24 2000 | Read Full Review of A Conspiracy of Paper: A Novel

Austin Chronicle

"Women such as you know, reader, would find themselves reduced to unstoppable tears or perhaps even rendered insensible by the treatment Kate received," says Weaver at one point, and as much as I tried to pretend I was a gentleman reader, sipping a fine claret in my drawing room, I couldn't help ...

Feb 18 2000 | Read Full Review of A Conspiracy of Paper: A Novel

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